Public Comment for Hurricane Management
Hurricane Management: Leadership and Followership in Dealing With Disaster
And do not neglect doing good and sharing,
for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
— Hebrews 13:16
“We are dying here,” said the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico. Hurricanes flattened the island and knocked out communications and roadways. A generous nation responded and over 3,000 cargo containers were unloaded at the water’s edge waiting for transport.
It is true that Big Government can do Big Things, like win World Wars and put a man on the moon.
But sometimes, bigger is not better. Even when the challenge is enormous.
Disaster relief efforts require time, talent and treasure to deliver supplies. But in a tragedy where infrastructure is impassable, time is removed from this equation. Treasure was piled up in containers at the seaports. This leaves only talent to get food and water distributed before time runs out.
This is when leadership (inspiration) and management (execution) and followership (recommendations) are needed. Big government cannot do this all — and here Edmund Burke’s “little platoons” step in. Burke said that in society we live in small groups and these are “the first link in the series by which we proceed towards a love to our country, and to mankind.”
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